Faculty Advisor

Burdette, Shawn C


A zinc ternary photocaged complex has been designed to passively diffuse through a cell membrane. Photocaged complexes have previously been used to release metal ions in biological systems with temporal and spatial control. This study used 3 ionophores with the newly developed DPAdeCage-zinc complex to test the formation of an overall neutral complex. 1H NMR titrations showed evidence of ternary complex formation with 1 ionophore: pyrithione. DPAdeCage-zinc with the pyrithione ionophore produced increased fluorescence in Zinpyr-1 labeled human fibroblasts, and decreased fluorescence after the addition of TPEN, a non-fluorescent cell permeable complex with a high affinity for zinc. These results suggest that zinc metal ions were introduced to the cells by way of the photocaged complex.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

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